Mac Mini M1 fan experiences

Roon core is the brains of the outfit

You can choose Roon Server or the full Roon GUI version

As far as the core/server is concerned they will behave identically.

Roon Server is designed to run headless , ie no screen, mouse , keyboard etc so you can’t see what’s going on other then using a remote device eg iPad

Roon GUI gives the server performance and you can see and navigate your library

Clear as mud ???

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so in my case, if I decide to go for a MacMini headless,
I would install Roon Server (= my Core on the MacMini) and Roon Remote on my iPad.
Currently I run the full GUI version on my iMac.
I assume that I could also run the full GUI version on the Mini and ignore the display/screen options ?

Yes you can run either version , as a server (that’s what I do under Windows) obviously if you want images etc on the core PC you need the GUI

But why spend over the odds for a Mac mini when it’s just a server? You can do it, as effectively for a third of the price

A MacminiM1 starts at $699 for the 256GB version and $899 for the 512MB version. What can you get as effective for $233/$299?

Well to be fair I was referring to something second hand because I would never purchase new. But the mini is not an ideal solution as far as a server goes. Particularly when it comes to storage, you will be relying on USB connections etc.
Personally as a serving device I would want that well away from the hifi so would get something like a dell optiplex which on the slightly larger models has 4 drive bays. They are fugly though for sure. If its the intention to use as the streamer as well, I would personally say thats not ideal, but yes a mini is prettier in that respect.

Well second hand a MacminiM1 would also be cheaper, so like for like I think it would be even harder to do better for a third of the price. And storage isn’t a big deal if you are like the o/p and mostly stream from Qobuz - the inbuilt SSD on a MacminiM1 would be fine for a decent legacy cd collection and your Qobuz library.

You can pick up an optiplex for 200 quid

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My mistake in referring to Roon server where in fact what I have installed is Roon core. The reference to server or core are used interchangeably by many and I’ve fallen into the same trap. The rest of my comments wrt the memory leak and the need to reset stand as stated.

On a headless setup roon server is the go as it can be set to run at startup. You can still run the normal roon in remote mode on the same machine if you want to, normal roon can be setup as a core or remote.

I’ve used roon server on all platforms and find ROCK the best bang for buck on intel Nuc or some other lower cost options also work (MOCK). I run a pretty large library at over 345k tracks and recommend regardless of a smaller library you just bite the bullet and get 16gb ram. Ssd (nvme) is best and you won’t be needing more than 128gb here for 99% of users.

I run Roon core (and nothing else) on an M1 Mini with only 8 gb of ram and I’ve never had any issue whatsoever. I honestly didn’t think it had a fan because I’ve never heard it and can’t feel any vibration so this thread has been enlightening in that respect. If you intend to listen impromptu on other devices in the house then you should set the mini to never sleep. I don’t see this as a problem with an SSD, M1 chip, etc. Mine has literally never even been warm to the touch. And don’t listen to the naysayers that think you can’t possibly expect ANY computer to put out satisfying sound. Granted, my mini is feeding a very good DAC, but I have put a pretty high-end streamer into the mix as a renderer and while I did get more dynamics and detail I also got a much more forward sound that bordered on fatiguing. The mini feeding my DAC sounds really good and satisfying.


Thanks for your contribution on this…
I wonder why an additional streamer would make sense ?
I already asked this in another thread, but the answer “Roon recommends it” isn’t quite satisfiying.
Why would an additional peace of gear within the signal path make sense ?
I’s all part of the RAAT path.

Without a streamer the Roon core will be the “Endpoint”, which leads per USB to a DAC.
I doubt that a streamer does things a Roon Core endpoint cannot do… Especially when it comes to
error correction, checksumming, clocking.
In my case, the USB leads to my Chord Qutest DAC, which handles USB input galvanic separated.

But I’m willing to learn ! :innocent:

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There is no problem and no loss connecting the DAC and Mini M1 direct with USB, even if Roon recommends something other in general. I guess Roon have noisy computers and discs in mind - this is not the case for the Mini M1.


Surely galvanic isolation is down to the DAC?

And surely buffering, checksumming and error-correction are an additional overhead/source of loss that is non-existent if you don’t have a second device in the chain? Can’t see how you can argue that transmitting some data wirelessly or through ethernet can possibly improve it. And clocking is not an issue. The DAC doesn’t get a clock signal from either asynchronous USB or ethernet. The correct clock frequency is in the data packets.

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Same experience here. Don’t worry about the fan as you will never hear it but the constant restart and having to connect again is a massive pain. Totally over it. This is supposed to be easy. Digital audio remains a minefield of one annoyance after another. I bought an M1 hoping to resolve issues with a 2012 Mac Mini. Buy a decent turntable and you will never look back.

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Check you ‘System Preferences/Energy Saver/Schedule’ that you do not have shutdown/startup enabled.
The only other way it would restart if you have a power failure and you have ‘Start up automatically after a power failure’ which is a good thing as long as you want it on all the time and have Roon loaded at startup - this way you’ll never need to touch until some update or maintenance that you want to perform by hand.


You have a unique issue, not a general M1 Mac issue. Running Roon on my M1 Mac literally could not be any easier. I’ve never had any problem whatsoever. No restarts, no reconnects, nothing. I may end up using it strictly as a server which is complete overkill but I don’t care. It works flawlessly and I never have to think about it so it’s totally worth it.


“I wonder why an additional streamer would make sense ?”

The general consensus is that ANY computer makes a poor music renderer. I know, the “music” is still ones and zeros at this point, but that is the commonly accepted logic. Note that I did experience increased dynamics and detail with the streamer, so there is something to this. One issue that may have kept me from loving what I heard was that I could only use the streamers SPDIF output. USB is considered to be the best-sounding output on this streamer and USB is most definitely the preferred input on my DAC, but there was some kind of protocol issue and the two just would not play nice. The streamer maker is right now working on a solution for me.
I also have an EtherRegen switch on order. This highly lauded device (which is why I’m having to wait on it) will ensure that any noise or undesirable chaff in the ethernet signal is cleaned up before the signal is forwarded to the streamer, and that will include both my local files and streamed files. You just replace your existing network switch.
I’ll try to remember to come back here and report what shakes out from these two additions. But bottom line, you don’t really need either of them to get great sound out of an M1 Mac Mini, you just need a good DAC. I’m just chasing the sound quality dragon and seeing where that gets me.

It’s common mythology, for sure. I have yet to see any real proof, though. Most high-end music renderers these days actually incorporate a computer, sometimes several, so… My guess is that Roon recommends it more for general off-loading of various Roon-ish processing tasks than for SQ reasons. Which makes some sense.

I am sorry to say that it apparently doesn’t actually do that: @Amir_Majidimehr says “It seems to be designed by people who a) don’t understand the architecture of streaming audio and hardware and b) didn’t bother make measurements of said flaws before going to fix them. A problem was imagined, and then supposedly fixed.”

Audio marketing is vicious and unrelenting, full of half-truths, myths, and outright lies. You’ve got to be careful about who and what you listen to.

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